When you're trying to cut down on your utility bills each month, the main room you should focus on is your bathrooms. Fortunately for your bank account, you can cut your water usage down by almost half just by making a few simple changes.
Install a Low Flow Shower Head
Older showerheads use up to eight GPM (gallons per minute), but for water conservation purposes, the federal Energy Policy Act of 1992 requires all faucet and shower fixtures made in the U.S. to have a flow rate of less than 2.2 GPM. This is going to be further reduced to 1.8 GPM by 2018.
Obviously, a low-flow showerhead will save even more water, and luckily for eco-conscious consumers, manufacturers are coming up with all kinds of new designs to create powerful showers that use less water.
Install Low Flow Faucets or Aerators
You can also switch out your bathroom faucet for a low flow model. Another easy and inexpensive way to make your bathroom more water-efficient is by adding a simple aerator. Adding an aerator to your faucet's water stream helps it feel like more water than it actually is, which can help it use less than one gallon per minute.
Switch to an Energy Star Hot Water Heater
Switching to a high Energy Star-rated hot water system will have a huge positive impact on your energy bill. When you do get it installed, make sure it's close to your water supply so you don't lose too much heat through the pipes.
Fix Dripping Faucets When They're Noticed
Believe it or not, one little drip can waste a lot of water and cost a lot of money. That is why it's so important to make sure there are no leaks or drips in your bathroom.
Install Low Flow or Dual Flush Toilets
One more way to cut back on your water use is to install a low-flow toilet. Most newer homes already have low-flow toilets installed, but a lot of older houses don't. Dual flush toilets have a couple of different settings depending on your needs at the time. However, if you don't have a dual-flush toilet you might want to consider adding a flush converter.
Consider how Much Light You Actually Need
An obvious way to reduce your electricity costs is to turn off the lights every time you leave the room. However, you may want to consider if your bathroom is actually too bright. Most bathrooms have vanity fixtures with four of five bulbs. Chances are, that's way more light bulbs than you really need. However, since proper lighting is necessary for the bathroom, you should consider installing Energy Star-rated bathroom fixtures.
Of course, natural light is always the best light for doing your hair and makeup and is the most energy-efficient option. Having a window in the bathroom is also a good way to ventilate it instead of turning on the fan all the time.
Use Proper Insulation and Coating
One more way to ensure your bathroom is energy efficient is to make sure it's properly insulated. Your bathroom should have moisture-resistant and durable finishes as well. Not only does this help save money in the long run, but it also reduces the risk of mold.